Texting has been around for more than a quarter-century. For much of that time it was used primarily for communicating with friends and family, but SMS is well on its way to becoming the primary method businesses use to communicate with consumers and vice versa.
Business texting is gaining momentum because of its ease of use and the ability to reach customers where they already spend so much of their time on their phones.
Business communication has evolved from phones to email to texting
The following 20 texting stats show how consumer communication preferences are changing. Businesses can learn from these evolving trends by adopting texting to improve customer satisfaction, streamline daily workflows and reduce repetitive and time-consuming tasks.
1. 83% of consumers received a text from a business last year.
- Offering two-way texting is the best way to satisfy customer needs.
2. 58% of consumers say texting is the fastest and most effective way to reach them.
- This stat alone makes texting a strong alternative to emails and phone calls.
3. 70% of businesses now use texting to reach customers and employees.
- This number is up 3% compared to last year, showing that texting is growing in popularity.
4. 76% of Generation X wish more businesses would text them.
- Businesses should note this impressive stat. It’s even higher for Gen Y (82%) and Gen Z (83%) Even 64% of Baby Boomers wish more businesses would text them.
5. 64% of consumers say appointment reminder texts are the most valuable.
- Businesses should pay attention to the types of texts customers want to receive to ensure they’re providing value.
6. Three out of four consumers feel frustrated when they can’t reply to a company’s text message.
- Limiting a customer’s ability to communicate in a way that works for them can lead to frustration.
7. 34% of consumers check their cellphone immediately after waking up.
- This texting stat showed a 62% increase over the previous year.
8. 64% of consumers spent more time on their cell phones each day in 2020.
- Due to the pandemic, consumers relied on their cell phones more than ever.
9. 87% of consumers say they often reject or ignore phone calls from businesses.
- Consumers are on their phones a lot but they’re not using the call feature that often. If you want to reach customers, invite them to connect with your business by text.
10. 63% of consumers use the default texting app on their phone more than other messaging tools.
- Consumers prefer the native texting app on their smartphone over third-party apps or branded apps that only allow them to communicate with one specific business.
11. 39% of consumers spent an additional 1-2 hours a day on their phones during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- In 2020, consumers relied on their phones more than ever. Thirty-five percent spent an additional 3-4 hours a day and over a quarter (26%) spent more than four additional hours a day due to changes in their work and personal routines related to social distancing measures.
12. 56% of consumers receive anywhere between 25 to over 100 emails a day.
- Email inboxes are inundated with new messages every day, and most are never opened. Nearly half of consumers said they only read between zero and five emails per day.
13. The industry-reported open rate for business emails is only 20%.
- Some industries have slightly higher open rates and others have lower. On average, only one out of every five emails a company sends is opened. By contrast, data shows texts have a 98% open rate.
SMS is the new normal for business communication
Business texting software has robust security features and built-in anti-spam safeguards. Yet some company decision-makers have yet to implement SMS into their omnichannel communication strategy, relying instead on email and phone calls. Businesses that are slow to adopt texting are missing an opportunity to connect with customers and prospects on the platform they most prefer—texting.
14. 58% of consumers have tried to reply to a missed call by sending a text.
- For businesses that aren’t text-enabled, those messages are never received, and customers don’t get the response they were hoping for which leads to poor customer service.
15. 77% of consumers have some degree of anxiety about talking on the phone.
- Put customers at ease with business texting software. Being able to send or reply to a text at their convenience takes fear or apprehension out of the equation.
16. Over three-quarters of millennials prefer texting to voice as a customer service channel.
- Unlike prior generations that grew up with phone calls as a primary method of communicating, millennials are used to less direct forms of contact such as email and texts. (SoCap Agency)
17. 74% of consumers prefer to talk to a real person rather than a chatbot.
- New technologies can streamline business communications, but a clear majority of consumers prefer human interactions when they have questions or need answers.
These SMS stats show your customers are already texting you
Sending or receiving a business text is faster than performing the same task by email. And it’s much easier than waiting on hold to speak with a customer service agent. That’s why your customers are already texting you. Unless you’ve enabled your existing landline phone number for texting, it’s more than likely your customers are already sending you texts. You just aren’t getting the messages.
18. 74% of consumers would like to receive more text messages from businesses.
- Consumers have long used SMS to connect with family and friends. This texting stat shows they would like to do it with businesses more often due to its ease and convenience.
19. Consumers over age 55 are sending or receiving an average of 16 texts per day.
- While the number of texts sent per day is greater for men and women under 40, consumers in older age groups continue to text with friends, family members and businesses.
20. Nearly half of consumers say they would like the option to pay a business by text.
- Texting is moving beyond simple conversations. Businesses and consumers are using it to make secure payments.
Learn more about the future of business texting with VIPTap
As the stats in this article prove, SMS is the primary way customers want to interact with businesses. This trend shows no sign of slowing down.
In the future, as technology advances and new features become available through the next phase in texting known as RCS (Rich Communication Service), the demand for texting will only continue to grow.